My first introduction to Susan David was here. I know she is right and in my experience, emotional agility is the key to a life of peace, love and joy; which includes, heartache, sorrow and grief!
I then went and purchased her book.
Here is what I read today.
"We want life to be as dazzling and painless as possible. Life,on the other hand, has a way of humbling us, and heartbreaks built into its agreement with the world. We're young, until we are not. We're healthy, until we're not. We're with those we love, until we're not. Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility."
"One of the greatest human triumphs is to choose to make room in our hearts for both the joy and the pain, and to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This means seeing feelings, not as being "good" or "bad" but as just "being". Yes, there is a relentless assumption in our culture that we need to do something when we have inner turmoil. We must struggle with it, fix it, control it, exert brute force willpower over it, remain positive. What we really need to do , though, is also what is most simple and obvious: nothing. that is, to just welcome these inner experiences, breath into them, and learn their contours without racing for the exits." Susan
What I love about this is that our whole emotional body is welcome and accepted. We are not trying to override our emotions with positive platitudes and put sunny faces upon tragedy. We get to allow all our deep brilliant raw emotions of sorrow to be just that.
We don't camp there; but we learn from what our emotions are telling us. I learned so many incredible things about myself, and life, in the years of my darkest days.
Imagine art with just one tone; where there is no contrast or wild surprises, no dark and light to help express life's beauty?
She goes on to say:
"A good question to ask yourself when you're trying to learn from your emotion is, "What the func?"
"No, that's not a typo for a more explicit question. "Func" is short for "function," so "What the func" is shorthand for "What is the purpose of this emotion?" What is it telling you? What does it get you? What is buried beneath that sadness, frustration or joy?"
"Once you stop struggling to eliminate distressing feelings or to smother them with positive affirmations or rationalizations, they can teach us valuable lessons. Self-doubt and self-criticism, even anger and regret, shine light into those dark, murky sometimes demon-haunted places that you most want to ignore, which are places of vulnerability or weakness. Showing up to these feelings can help you anticipate pitfalls and prepare more effective ways of coping during critical moments."
"If you confront both your internal feelings and external options - while maintaining the distinction between the two- you will have a much better chance having a good day, not to mention a meaningful life. You'll make important decisions in light of the broadest possible context. This requires honesty and integrity to incorporate our experiences into a narrative that is uniquely our own, as well as one that will serve us, helping us understand where we've been so that we can better see where we want to go." Susan
If we allow our emotions to steer us, I believe, we will live a life that is completely authentic to who we are.
When I began listening to my body and its emotions, I was overwhelmed by them. However, there was a huge backup of negative emotions that I had not felt. They were all eager to be heard, expressed and then released.
Now, my body knows, there is nothing I will not feel. My emotions are greatly valued and honored by me. I follow where they lead.
The term "emotional agility" portrays a person who is nimble and flowing with life.
Can there be personal integrity IF you never show the full range of emotion?
What I know about myself, was when I was unable to show my real feelings and follow them, I had rage at things that were innocent; like my children.
Meaning, I needed to first and foremost, express my feelings of being abused by my parents. I had to go deeply into this in order to come out to peace.
Peace isn't to be loving and kind to those who hurt you.
That is a false peace.
A peace sign laid a top of wound.
It doesn't make the wound heal.
By following my emotions, I was then able to steer myself free from those who don't value me.
What the func, is a great ask.
What is this emotion saying?
I followed my body...and still do.
Most children of abuse, are abused as children by someone they know and love. This adds to the unwillingness to believe our bodies over our hearts and beliefs.
This sets us up to be inauthentic in order to be safe.
To leave the wisdom of our bodies and try harder in order to be loved without pain, for we are incapable of leaving and taking care of ourselves. We then, in our minds, try to create a world that discounts our emotions completely.
We are not born separated from our emotional body.
Abuse and not having anyone who will listen to our truths, makes it the only thing to do.
Leave those feelings buried, unheard and unseen, to live removed from our body.
Being a whole being, is when we can go back and rescue all of our emotions, so we have the ability to steer our lives in all directions, not just to happy or positive or joy!
I followed the dark shadows and became emotionally agile!